Thursday, August 25, 2005
Drunks, Rottweiler's, and Mormon's - Just another day at the office.
Dr. Dan Banach, a local family practitioner, and I went on visitation together last Tuesday evening. Dan made his splash as a gifted evangelist on the Brazil mission trip. The secret to his success is his skillful handling of the Evangecube (or simply The Cube, as it has come to be known). I've never seen anyone that can order food in a foreign country simply by using The Cube. Anyway, he fell in love with evangelism and telling the gospel message and is a real beast when it comes to street witnessing, especially when the people are holding guns. But allow me to tell our story.
Our church just held the annual EMBC Ladies Tea Party. This event draws about 600 women from the Prattville-Montgomery area to an afternoon of fellowship in our sanctuary. There is always a guest speaker who shares her testimony. This year was no different and there were many women who indicated that they had submitted to Jesus Christ or were interested in more information. One such woman became the catalyst to the events which are about to unfold before your astonished eyes. Dear reader, do not be fearful for us as you read and let your mind be put to ease by the knowledge that both Dr. Dan and myself escaped unharmed.
We drove into Montgomery and found the house with little trouble. It was a nice enough place to which Dan and I quickly made our way up the sidewalk. A younger woman opened the door and we introduced ourselves and mispronounced her name. She graciously corrected us and invited us inside. She told us right away that she had a large dog but that maybe he would stay in the back. Dan and I both assured her that we were both dog lovers. She also told us that she was expecting more company at 7:30 (it was around 7:00 at the time) and that they were coming to share Jesus with her dad, who as it turns out, was in the backyard cutting grass. She also admitted, rather embarrassed, that he was an alcoholic.
As we spoke with her, it became apparent that she did not have a grasp on the claims of Jesus Christ and His terms for salvation. So I took the opportunity to adequately share with her the gospel message. About five minutes into our conversation the back door opens and her father comes in (he's already a little tipsy) and brings in with him the largest dog I have ever seen. I'm not exaggerating when I say that if this dog stood up straight he would have been taller than I am. His head was about twice the size of a basketball. He was a monster!!
This monster, named Juvie, also happened to love people, especially new people. He got so excited when he saw Dan and I that he nearly hurtled the coffee table to get on the couch with us. Now, I'm not sure if you know how big I am. I'm your average 6'1'', 225 lb minister of music. Dan is a muscle bound M.D. of about 6 feet and I'm going to guess somewhere around 200 lbs himself. Add at least 135 pounds of dog, and you've got over 550 lbs of fat, muscle, and hair on that woman's sofa. To make matters worse, the dog was a licker - and boy was this tongue big. Fortunately for me, Juvie quickly took a liking to Dan and began making out with him. Dan finally had to put his hand in the dog's mouth just to give him something to chew on. Dan was dripping with dog slobber. The girl tried to pull the dog off of us once, but he just circled the coffee table and dove right back on top of us. She finally got a bunch of paper towels from the kitchen and let Dan dry himself off while she held Juvie on the floor.
After all this settled down we got back to the gospel. Obviously starting over because now we had her father in the room and from some of the things he told us desperately needed to hear the truth. After about ten minutes of conversation with the both of them, the girl looks out the window and says, "Oh, our appointment is here." Dan and I turn and see two Mormon missionaries coming up the sidewalk. They enter the house and give introductions. I don't think they knew who we were right off the bat.
At this point, if a clown car had pulled up and fifteen clowns jumped out with fire hoses I would not have been surprised. It was an absolute circus. An embarrassed woman, a drunk, a doctor, a minister of music, two Mormon missionaries, and the largest dog on the face of the earth walk into a bar...
The drunk father, obviously loving the chaos, stands up and says, "Well, boys, we got us a couple of Baptist missionaries here tonight! They're gonna keep talkin' and if you hear anything you disagree with, then you just chime in!"
I quickly retorted, "No, no. This isn't the place for a theological debate. You gentlemen had an appointment. Let me finish what I came here to say and we will come back some other time to speak with both of you."
So now I start over a second time and basically preach to all four of them for another 15 minutes. When I'm through, the father says again, "Well, boys. What did you think about that?"
To which Elder Smith says, "Well, I agree with most of what he said. It sounds like there are a lot of similarities between us."
After making the point that Mormons do not teach the gospel of the Bible, we stood and politely made our way to the door. After saying our good-byes, we made our way back to the car. Dan, in his most understated way, says, "Now if that doesn't win an award..."